I’ve been writing this post since August sometime. Should be better than this… but hey – I finally finished it, right? Hmmm… I suppose.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought, whispered or shouted some variation of the following words:
Imagine what I could do if there were just more hours in a day.
If you’re a mom… do you remember life before kids?
I remember thinking how busy life was when I was finishing up school, working part time, buying my first place and planning my wedding. Sounds busy, right? Yeah… but to be honest, I now have to remind myself that it really was busy then… based on the perspective I had at the time. Perspective is everything, isn’t it? I had no idea how much busier… fuller… more chaotic (!) life would be once we added children, careers, a house (etc. etc. etc.) to the mix. Whether it’s actually the kids, my slowly diminishing levels of energy or just significantly more responsibility at work and at home – one thing is certain – I have less free time now than I did before. Less time for me. Less time for my couple. Less time for… everything.
This Mom needs TIME.
Now, raise your hand if you…
- have lost count of how many times you’ve said something like “we should meet up for coffee soon… to catch up” to a friend only to realize weeks (or even months) later that you never followed through on that initial proposal.
- have spent more than a year on a renovation project (like say… a laundry room!) because you’ve done little bit by little bit… when time permits (Maybe you even kept losing interest because it was taking so long).
- can’t remember the last time you had a bubble bath… just for fun.
- have spent all day running around “busy” only to feel like you didn’t actually get anything done.
… and I’m sure you can come up with your own examples of how time is just flying by and you are just scrambling, trying to keep up and still find a way to live life to its fullest.
I don’t have any secret tips, but I think I’m slowly figuring out how to better manage my time as a working wife and mom. Especially recently. I’m not boasting here, as I’m not sure how or why I finally feel like I’m able to manage… maybe it has something to do with my girls passing beyond the “baby” phase… maybe I’m just getting older and wiser…maybe I’m just figuring out my priorities (instead of trying to be as “good” as the next girl) but I’m finding a groove one day at a time. I’m finding MY groove. Maybe?
Here are 5 things that help me to better manage my time…
- A supportive husband – I suppose I covered this already when I wrote about the need for support
- Meal planning or some version of it. It’s pretty rare that I cook ahead or batch cook (which is a trick that works for a lot of working moms) but if you can’t or don’t want to do that, something as simple as taking the meat out of the freezer the night before or penciling out a flexible meal schedule for the week can’t take a lot of the guess-work out of daily dinner (and lunch leftover) planning.
- Exercising on my lunch break WITH workout buddies. This is a recent practice for me (I’m only 3 weeks in) and honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner. I am motivated. I’m actually getting in the workout before the end of the day (when quite frankly I just want to collapse most of the time). And with quick and intense crossfit style workouts, those 30 minutes are an incredibly efficient (and healthy) use of my time. Not to mention that I get some woman to woman bonding in at the same time!
- Planning the housework (sort of). Since the beginning of the month of September I have been keeping track of when I wash the bed sheets, clean the bathroom(s), dust and vacuum. It may seem silly, but just putting a B1 on the calendar when I clean the main bathrooms or “beds” when I clean the sheets helps me to keep track of what I’ve done and remember what I need to do (and when it’s due).
- Spending less time on my laptop and more importantly, spending less time online. I’ve been thinking of cutting back for a while because I know how easy it is to go online and click around… and it’s too easy to waste time. A couple of weeks ago, I took a day off work to spend it with the girls. I chose not to log in at all that day. The result? An incredibly efficient day where I spent significant quality time with my girls (crafts, the park, an outing…) and got a head start on our typical weekend chores (cleaning the bathroom, doing the groceries, tidying the house).
There you have it. Now I suppose I should get off the computer… and put the laundry away or something 😉